This post is also available in: Spanish
LOCATION: Panama is located between Central and South America on the Isthmus of the same name. Its surface is of 75,517 square kilometers, slightly less than the surface of the State of South Carolina. The width of the Isthmus is between 80 km and 192 km.
CLIMATE: Panama has a tropical climate. Temperatures vary between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius and humidity is always high.
SEASON: There are only two seasons, the “dry” during the months of January to April and the “not so dry” from May until end of the year.
LANGUAGE: Spanish is the language. English is widely spoken and understood in the cities.
CURRENCY: The U.S. dollar. Panama’s own coins match U.S. coins in size and value, and are thus acceptable in casino slot machines.
TIPPING: Check with management if in doubt. 10% to 15% of the bill would be acceptable.
DRIVERS LICENSE: Visitors can drive up to 90 days with a foreign driving license.
HOSPITALS: Panama has a number of very up-to-date hospitals the principals being Clinica Paitilla Clinica San Fernando Hospital Nacional and Hospital Punta Pacífica
AMBULANCE SERVICE: Emi Panama 236-6060
ELECTRICITY: 110 volts; 60 cycles.
TIME ZONE: Eastern Stardard time. Daylight Saving Time is not observed in Panama.
Special national holidays of Panama
It is wise to be aware of Panama’s National Holidays when the whole country closes down and businesses and banks are closed. Jan 9 – Martyr’s Day
Feb 12 – Carnival Tuesday
Nov 3 – Independence from Colombia
Nov 5 – First Cry of Independence (from Colombia) in Colon
Nov 10 – First Cry of Independence from Spain in Los Santos
Nov 28 – Independence from Spain
Dec 8 – Mothers´ Day